It’s been over two weeks since India’s Chandrayaan-3 spacecraft became the world’s first spacecraft to touch down at the southern lunar pole. Now, the nation’s small Pragyan rover has also completed its initial mission, settling into a slumber that India hopes it will reawake the rover from for future missions.
The rover has been on the move for two weeks now, documenting evidence of sulfur, iron, oxygen, and other elements on our lunar satellite. Exploration of the Chandrayaan-3’s landing zone is essential to future lunar exploration, too, and overall, the rover has traversed over 100 meters across the moon.
This resounding success is a great showcase of India’s cosmic exploration efforts and the efforts that all of humanity has been making towards exploring the moon and other cosmic bodies out there. From here, the ISRO will continue to explore the cosmos with a recently launched probe set to study the sun and observe solar winds.
The entirety of the Chandrayaan-3 mission has thus far been a huge success, too, especially following the failure of India’s 2019 attempt to put a spacecraft on the lunar surface. Now that the spacecraft has landed with a textbook landing, and the Pragyan rover has accomplished so much so quickly, India could be well on its way to becoming a powerhouse in space exploration.
Of course, there’s still a lot of exploration to do, especially regarding the moon, and NASA has big plans for that, too. Later this decade, Artemis III will aim to return human boots to the lunar satellite. The hope is that data gathered by the Pragyan rover and other lunar-destined spacecraft will help give researchers and astronauts a more focused area to put their time and energy into exploring.
For now, though, we can at least celebrate the success of the Chandrayaan-3 mission and hope that whenever India wakes the Pragyan rover up again, everything comes back online smoothly.